Yahoo! served up malware-laden ads on its
homepage for four days earlier this month.
The attacks affected European users, and a
new report in The Guardian confirms at least
some of the malware in question was used to
The malware targeted a vulnerability in Java,
according to the report. SiliconAngle explains
it hijacked computers to perform the resource-intensive
calculations required to collect the digital
“Not that the victims will see a penny of
this fortune of course — enslaved computers
suffer from a massive drain in resources,
yet all of the profits go directly into the
wallet of the malware owner.”
A writer for Techdirt says: count your blessings.
“As ‘malware’ goes, this is actually a lot
less damaging than some other stuff out there
(keyloggers designed to steal bank info, for
example). It likely would bump up electricity
bills slightly for some users.”
But malware that steals processing power and
electricity does make sense, according to
digital currency analysis group Coindesk.
“The only way to make any cash on PC bitcoin
mining is if you don’t have to buy the hardware
or electricity. At this point a network of
average PCs will waste more energy generating
bitcoins than the bitcoins are worth.”
During Yahoo!’s malware attack, security firm
Fox-IT reported a rate of around 27,000 infections
per hour, which could have resulted in nearly
2 million total infections.
In a statement following the attacks, Yahoo!
said it would “continue to monitor and block
any advertisements being used for this activity.”
And in this case, users can get proactive
in keeping their systems safe.
Security experts tell The Guardian Java is
vulnerable to a wide range of attacks and
recommend users get rid of the software if
they don’t have a need for it.